Baylor Bears vs Oklahoma Sooners Pick
Baylor Bears (3-1 SU, 1-2-1 ATS) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday, September 29th 2018 –3:30 PM ET
Where: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium – Norman, Oklahoma
By: Keith Franks, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Baylor +23.5 / Oklahoma -23.5
The Oklahoma Sooners will host the Baylor Bears for a Big 12 conference clash set to take place at Gaylord-Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The contest will take place on Saturday, September 29th, 2018 with a kick-off time of 3:30 PM ET. The affair will be televised nationally on ABC. The Sooners have won the last three meetings between these two conference foes. However, overall the two teams have split the last six meetings with three wins each per side. The Bears are 4-2 ATS over this span. Last year, Oklahoma was nearly upset by the Bears as a 27.5-point choice in Waco when Baylor fell short by a touchdown-plus two-point conversion. The final tally was 49-41, Sooners.
The Bears Having A Bearable Start To 2018
The Bears come in with just one loss on the season to a Duke team that currently sits undefeated and brandishes a top-25 ranking. Outside of this, Baylor owns victories this season against Abilene Christian, Texas-San Antonio, and most recently Kansas. The Bears have fared well in these three games as they have outscored the opposition 118-54 in their three victories this season. Baylor also owns the 18th ranked passing attack in America as they average 310.2 passing yards per game.
Oklahoma Survives A Scare
The Crimson and Cream enter on the heels of a frightening afternoon last week in Norman. The Sooners were taken to overtime by visiting Army, who in eerily similar fashion to Iowa State in 2017 came into the fixture as a 30-point underdog. Nevertheless, the Black Knights hung around and nearly pulled yet another historic upset at the fabled Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Black Knights had the right antidote to Oklahoma’s offense. The Black Knights continued to pound the rock on the ground and keep the Sooner attack off the field. As a result, Army blanked Oklahoma in the fourth quarter and keep them off the board altogether.
A Key Match-Up To Focus On: Oklahoma’s Offense versus Baylor’s Defense
Normally, Baylor has been known as a basketball team on turf. This was especially the case in the Art Briles era, when the Bears had a penchant for winning games by outscoring opponents. This in a nutshell is the blueprint for Big 12 football, as many of the teams, including Oklahoma are offense-first and foremost. The last of teams that employ such an approach also include Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Iowa State. Baylor in its own right has an electric offense, but their defense is much improved compared to years’ past.
In fact, Baylor’s defense is the reason why the Bears have had success in 2018. In years’ past, the lack of a defense from Baylor was protected by a high-octane offense. Once the Bears began to sputter and stall, the losses piled in like dandruff. However, Baylor’s passing defense is solid. The Bears rank 41st against the pass giving up just 181.5 yards per game which will be a riveting match-up against an Oklahoma offense that proliferates 288.2 yards through the air per game. If Baylor can take control of the skies, Oklahoma may have their hands full here.
Take Baylor +23.5
The Bears have an obsession with the Sooners. Think of it along the lines of two cowboys squaring in a duel outside a saloon somewhere in the Wild Wild West. This is an appropriate analogy given how the Big 12 operates as a football conference. The Sooners have found a way to outshoot the Bears and that has been the difference maker in this series. However, there is little doubt that after what happened in 2017 that the Bears have had this date circled on their calendar.
The Sooners have ruled the Big 12 with an iron fist and are akin to the schoolyard bully that takes everyone’s lunch money. The Bears won’t be looking to pay up here and take it to OU. Ever since RG3 led this team to a thrilling victory against OU in Waco years back, the Bears have always shown up for their date with their tormentors up north. We suspect they will here as well. Be that as it may, the Sooners are likely posting an inflated line albeit they have their way in Big 12 competition. There is obviously plenty of room here for a backdoor but chances are Baylor’s offense has plenty of wiggle room to work with here as it is. Grab the points.